Josh Ball, The Royal Gazette
On the face of it there appear to be very few positives for Bermuda to take out of a weekend where they have been hammered twice by UAE.
In fact, even if you scratch the surface, defeats of 167 runs and 134 runs, on Saturday and yesterday respectively, still seem as bad as they sound.
The statistics make for even more difficult reading. Over the course of two matches UAE scored 560 runs, batted for 100 overs, and took 20 wickets. Bermuda in contrast took 14 wickets and scored just 259 runs in a combined 67.1 overs, only one more run than UAE made on Saturday.
UAE's batsmen managed four half centuries over the course of the two games, with Arshad Ali (70) and Amjad Javed (89) the best of those.
The home side's successes, such as they were, can be measured in counting those batsmen that made double figures.
And yet all is not as gloomy as it might first appear. This is a side in transition, and the two teams that played over the course of the weekend were put together with development and opportunity in mind.
Certainly coach David Moore will be a good deal closer to knowing what his strongest XI is out of the players who are willing and available to play for Bermuda.
And while some will have played themselves out of a starting spot, others have raised themselves a couple places up the pecking order.
The contrast can be seen no more starkly than in the displays of Fiqre Crockwell and Terryn Fray. Elevated to the opening position alongside Chris Foggo, Fray carried his bat for an unbeaten 34 as Bermuda collapsed to 91 all out on Saturday.
He managed just 14 yesterday before being bowled by spinner Shadeep Silva, but looked solid during his stay at the crease, and had faced 49 balls in that time. Crockwell, who came in at three, made a pair, faced eight balls in total, and will be eager to get back to club side PHC so he can play himself back into form.
Young wicketkeeper Christian Burgess also acquitted himself well over the course of the two games.
He has some deficiencies in his technique behind the stumps, and missed a couple of chances you need to take at international level, but there is nothing that some decent coaching can't sort out.
What the two games have done is separate the wheat from the chaff as far as the bowling attack goes.
Bermuda were still in yesterday's game until UAE took their power play overs at the end of the innings.
By the end of the five overs they had conceded 83 runs, and Javed and AbdulRahman (57) were dispatching the ball to all parts.
Javed faced just 61 balls for his 89, hit five sixes including three from a Stephan Dill over that went for 24 runs, and the pair, who both remained unbeaten, put on 137 runs in 15.2 overs as UAE amassed 302 for the loss of just five wickets.
Throughout the power play Bermuda's bowling was naive at best, and lines and lengths fell woefully short of the standard required at that level.
Over the course of the game Dill was smashed for 48 off five overs, DeSilva went for 56 off 10, and OJ Pitcher was hammered for 68 runs off seven overs.
With Jim West proving equally expensive on the Saturday, only Justin Pitcher, who took three for 51 in the first game came out of the weekend with much credit amongst the fast bowlers.
And even so, he was part of a bowling line-up the sent down 28 wides on the first day, and conceded 43 extras in all.
Of the rest, Stefan Kelly was laid low by a stomach bug, and Kevin Tucker was dropped for being late to last Thursday's recovery session.
The spinners fared a little better. Joshua Gilbert continues to impress, and his four for 47 did much to help restrict UAE to 258 for nine in the first game.
Rodney Trott and Tamauri Tucker did their best to follow his lead yesterday.
Trott took two for 44, and Tucker one for 41, but 302 was always going to be well beyond Bermuda's reach.
At least in the batting department they started better than on Saturday, when they fell to 20 for four and had lost the game before their reply had even started.
Yesterday Foggo and Fray got to 36 before Foggo was out for 23, and even though Crockwell and Fray followed, Bermuda were 103 for three at one stage.
As has so often been the case in the past however, the loss of David Hemp (37) triggered a collapse that saw the side lose their last seven wickets for just 65 runs.
Once again it was the UAE spinners who did the damage, taking eight of the Bermuda wickets to fall yesterday.
And the fact that the last three batsmen were all out stumped, will not have escaped David Moore's attention.
"I think you've got to try and be positive, and pick up positives from individual performances," said skipper David Hemp.
"And again you're learning all the time about individuals, who can do what in certain positions and certain situations.
"It's frustrating because we've had two days of fight in the four-dayer and I was hoping we'd take that positive influence into these games. But we've come in off the back off two substantial losses which is frustrating.
"Going forward, yes you have that in mind that it's a developmental issue but ultimately it's still hard to take, because it's a loss for Bermuda."
For their part UAE did almost everything that was asked of them by coach Colin Wells, and they will go into today's two Twenty20 games looking to end their season on a real high with a five-nil whitewash of Bermuda.
"Although we scored 300, we're experienced enough to know that the pitch suits us, and Bermuda, with all due respect, aren't the strongest of Associate sides at the moment.
"They're regrouping, and reforming, and trying to build a foundation, so I set the boys a target of (keeping Bermuda below) 200, which was more realistic to our capabilities, and they performed well to that.
"And of course it is an improvement on Saturday, when we did stutter to 250-odd when we could actually have been out for just over or under 200 because we had nine and 10 go to the crease with 10 overs to go. I've told them at another time, we'll pay for those injudicious loss of wickets.
"So we batted and got a good platform to a very competitive total and then took the game away from Bermuda."